Cornell University: Acceptance Rate and Admissions Statistics

Cornell University campus
Cornell University campus. See more Cornell University photos.

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Located in Ithaca, New York, Cornell University is an Ivy League research university with an acceptance rate of 10.9%. Considering applying to this highly selective school? Here are the Cornell admissions statistics you should know.

Acceptance Rate

During the 2018-19 admissions cycle, Cornell University had an acceptance rate of 10.9%. This means that for every 100 students who applied, 10 students were admitted, making Cornell’s admissions process highly competitive.

Admissions Statistics (2018-19)
Number of Applicants 49,114
Percent Admitted 10.9%
Percent Admitted Who Enrolled (Yield) 60%

SAT Scores and Requirements

Cornell requires that all applicants submit either SAT or ACT scores. During the 2018-19 admissions cycle, 71% of of admitted students submitted SAT scores.

SAT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
ERW 680 760
Math 720 800
ERW=Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

This admissions dataset tells us that most of Cornell’s admitted students fall within the top 7% nationally on the SAT. For the evidence-based reading and writing section, 50% of students admitted to Cornell scored between 680 and 760, while 25% scored below 680 and 25% scored above 760. On the math section, 50% of admitted students scored between 720 and 800, while 25% scored below 720 and 25% scored a perfect 800. Applicants with a composite SAT score of 1560 or higher will have particularly competitive chances at Cornell.

Requirements

Cornell does not require the optional SAT writing section. Note that Cornell participates in the scorechoice program, which means that the admissions office will consider your highest score from each individual section across all SAT test dates. At Cornell, SAT Subject test requirements vary according to the college to which you’re applying, so make sure to review the requirements for your application.

ACT Scores and Requirements

Cornell requires that all applicants submit either SAT or ACT scores. During the 2018-19 admissions cycle, 41% of admitted students submitted ACT scores.

ACT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
English 33 35
Math 30 35
Composite 32 35

This admissions data tells us that most of Cornell's admitted students fall within the top 3% nationally on the ACT. The middle 50% of students admitted to Cornell received a composite ACT score between 32 and 35, while 25% scored above 35 and 25% scored below 32. In general, applicants must have test scores well above the national average to be competitive for admission to Cornell (as well as any of the other Ivy League schools.)

Requirements

Cornell does not require the ACT writing section. Note that Cornell does not superscore ACT results; your highest composite ACT score will be considered. Regardless of whether you submit the ACT or SAT, you may still be required to submit SAT Subject test scores to Cornell (dependent on program to which you apply).

GPA

Cornell does not provide data about admitted students’ high school GPAs. In 2019, 83% of admitted students who provided data indicated that they ranked in the top 10% of their high school class.

Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph

Cornell Applicants’ Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph.
Cornell Applicants’ Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph. Data courtesy of Cappex.

The admissions data in the graph is self-reported by applicants to Cornell University. GPAs are unweighted. Find out how you compare to accepted students, see the real-time graph, and calculate your chances of getting in with a free Cappex account.

Admissions Chances

Cornell University has a highly competitive admissions pool with a low acceptance rate and high average SAT/ACT scores. However, Cornell has holistic admissions process involving other factors beyond your grades and test scores. A strong application essay and glowing letters of recommendation can strengthen your application, as can participation in meaningful extracurricular activities and a rigorous course schedule. Students with particularly compelling stories or achievements can still receive serious consideration even if their test scores are outside Cornell’s typical range.